This is a question I ask myself daily when I see lines at the drive-thru. I think, don't they know what's in that stuff? Why would you want to eat that?
The Journal of the American Dietetic Association just published a study that answered my question, "Why Eat at Fast-Food Restaurants: Reported Reasons among Frequent Consumers."
According to the study, the main reason people eat fast food is that it is fast. 92 percent of the individuals surveyed agreed on this rationale. The next most popular reason? Easy to get to, 80 percent.
Liking the taste fell to a distant 69 percent, barely edging out "cheap" at 63 percent.
Fast, easy, cheap. These are the defining terms for the relationship with our food for nearly one in four adults and children daily, and at least three times a week per person. It sounds more like a relationship you'd have in a back alley rather than on your family dinner table.
An interesting point the study brought to light is that only 20 percent of the respondents felt the food was "nutritious." The majority knowingly make a poor nutrition choice, valuing "quick" and "convenient" over even their own health.
11 percent cited the restaurants as "fun and entertaining." People, you need to get out more.
The study concluded that, with the tie between these food choices and our current obesity epidemic, that the best hope for changing eating habits would be to make healthy choices just as fast and convenient, or to get the fast food chains to make healthier items.
Me, I'll keep taking it slow. I like having a long, healthy and satisfying relationship.